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Lian Li BORA Digital RGB 120mm Fans Review

By Christopher Bowman on June 14, 2019 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

Lian Li BORA Digital RGB 120mm Fans Review

Fans are a necessity. They bring cool air into your case and expel hot air out of your PC’s case, but not all fans are created equal.  There are many options to pick from, and they range from the plain ones built for performance to expensive ones made for RGB flash, like the new Lian Li BORA Digital RGB Fans we’re reviewing today.  Let’s take a closer look.

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Specifications

  • Price: $59.99 USD (3-pack, with fan hub and remote)
  • Model: Lian Li BORA Digital
  • Colors: Black, Silver, Space Gray (Silver used in review)
  • Fan Dimension: 120mm x 120mm x 27mm
  • Rated Voltage: DC 12V (LED Voltage 5V)
  • Fan Speed: 900 – 1800 RPM
  • Max. Air Pressure: 1.46 mm-H20
  • Max. Air Flow: 57.97 CFM
  • Acoustical Noise (Min-Max.): 19.4 – 29 dBA
  • Insulation Type: Class A
  • Locked Current: 0.2 A
  • Bearing Type: Fluid Dynamic Bearing
  • Operation Voltage: 10.8V – 13.2V
  • Start-up Voltage: ≥ 6V (Duty Cycle 100%)
  • Input Current: Max. 0.45A
  • Input Power: Max. 5.4W

For our review, Lian Li sent us three packs of their BORA Digital fans. Each pack contacts three fans with a hub to connect them all to (plus several others in your case), RGB cables allowing you to daisy chain fans in sequence, and a remote to control lighting and RPM. They provided us with two packs that were silver color, and one that was black. We decided on using four of the silver fans within our case for the sake of uniformity. These fans are all 120mm, and we placed three of them in the front of our Rosewill Cullinan V500 case, with one fan in the rear for exhaust. The total cost of each pack is $59.99 total putting the fans themselves at about twenty dollars each – a little less when you factor in the fan hub, so it’s a fairly affordable package.

The coolest thing about the BORA Digitals is clearly the addressable RGB. Surrounding the inner ring of the fan are 12 LEDs. You can program these in one of two ways. The first is by attaching the 5V RGB header to your motherboard and using the compatible software for whichever brand you use. Currently, you can use Asus Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light Sync, ASRock Polychrome Sync, and finally Gigabyte RGB Fusion. When using these programs you can control the modes and speeds directly from inside the software. Since Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion doesn’t play nice with APEX Legends, I chose to use the second method: using the SATA powered remote control. Unfortunately, this is wired, so you’ll either need to route it outside your case or be stuck taking the side panel on and off whenever you make a change.

Included in the fan set is a fan hub. It has one input for direct connection to your motherboard’s fan header, and six connections for the fans themselves. It acts as the brain for the fan systems after the PC has been turned on, offering full PWM control. The hub comes preinstalled with an adhesive strip, which allows you to place it safely in the back side of your case. Make sure you place it where all of the cables from the fans will reach. One good thing is that each of the cables is more than long enough to reach where they need to. Then it is just a matter of hooking up your remote control where you can personally reach it. In our situation, we took a piece of dual sided tape and strapped it up into the lower front end of the case. This left enough room for us to remove the front panel to adjust the settings on the remote.

When it comes to performance these don’t disappoint. They push a lot of air with a rating of 57.97 CFM. They’re best suited for case mounting though as their static pressure is only middle of the road at 1.46 mm-H20. RPM scales from 900 to 1800 and maxes out at 29 dBA, which is common at these speeds.

Before installing the BORA Digitals, we had a set of four Rosewill Dual-LED light ring fans that came pre-installed in the case. They were fairly quiet and the temperatures stayed reasonable. With the case fans, we saw GPU temperatures of 72C when running a game. Enter Lian Li. Once the new fans were installed within the case we took a look at the temps again. The idle dropped 2-3C and game temps dropped about 1C. Not a major difference, but since the Rosewill fans were already fairly good, the additional improvement and dramatically better lighting was nice to see. Nothing was lost just to pick up some flashy RGB, which is good, and I suspect if we ran them at full 1800RPM consistently we would have seen even more of an improvement (at the expense of noise).

Once you’re installed and done testing temps, it is time to play with the lighting effects. The BORA RGB fans come equipped with 16 lighting effects and 9-speed settings from static to eye-buggingly fast. The 16 settings are listed below, and can be seen in this short video clip.

  • Rainbow
  • Cyclic Colors of Double Arcs
  • Alternate Colors of Arc
  • Cyclic Colors of Arc (Left-Right)
  • Sporadic Alternate Colors of Arc
  • Bicolor Arc Neon
  • Surround Changing Neon Colors
  • Bicolor Half Arc (Green & Red, Blue & Red, Blue & Light Green)
  • Static Blue, Green, Purple, Red, Light Yellow, Yellow Green

Personally, I think the rainbow effect looks best, especially when at medium speed. The color combinations, matched with decent performance, give these fans the wow factor that most RGB enthusiasts will enjoy.

Conclusion

This is the first time we’ve had a Lian Li product in for review and I wasn’t disappointed in the quality. GPU temperatures saw a little improvement while at idle but ran about the same when gaming. For $59.99USD you can change the whole aesthetic of your PC and turn a bland build into an eye-catcher.

Pros

  • Fair priced for a 3-pack of RGB fans
  • Easy-to-install
  • Fully addressable RGB lighting that looks great
  • Wide compatibility with different motherboards
  • Runs very quiet

Cons

  • Remote controller should be an external option, not internal only